Tag Archives: Oscar Wilde

Magee gets solitary confinement

He did not wear his scarlet coat,
…For blood and wine are red,
And blood and wine were on his hands
….When they found him with the dead,
The poor dead woman whom he loved,
…. And murdered in her bed.


We tore the tarry rope to shreds
….With blunt and bleeding nails;
We rubbed the doors, and scrubbed the floors,
….And cleaned the shining rails:
And, rank by rank, we soaped the plank,
….And clattered with the pails.


We sewed the sacks, we broke the stones,
….We turned the dusty drill:
We banged the tins, and bawled the hymns,
….And sweated on the mill:
But in the heart of every man
….Terror was lying still.



And all men kill the thing they love,
….By all let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
….Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
….The brave man with a sword!.

Ballad of Reading Jail, 1898, Oscar Wilde. Full poem, here.